Frosh Research Specific Countries

Jack Moeller, Staff Writer

Students in Bevan Vinton’s World History class are working on a year-long project called “the country notebook.”

At the beginning of the year, students chose one country, from Cuba to South Korea. Some of the countries are more difficult than others because access to information about them can be impacted by their political system, as well as their geography.

“The Modern World History course is a survey course which doesn’t always allow time to study all areas of the world equally.  With this project students have the opportunity to learn more about one particular country of the world and to practice research skills,” Vinton said.

“I think it it important to learn about other countries,” freshman Calvin Gee said.

The country notebook consists of 10 assignments, which are spread out over the year. The assignments become more complex and more challenging each quarter. At the end of the year, the students will turn in their full country notebook.

“I like learning a lot about my country [Nigeria]. I like to learn about what happened in the past and what is happening now,” Jordan Li said.

“Finding solid, reliable information can be challenging, as well as learning to site sources correctly.  Later this year students will need to think critically about their countries and their regions of the world; that, too, may be somewhat challenging,” Vinton said.   

Students have to write about 3 events in the previous 2 years. “The current events are the hardest part. We have to write papers,” Li said.

According to Gee, the project has taught him a lot about Nigeria. “I have learned about the culture and the history. I have also learned about the leaders,” he said.

“To me, a ‘notebook’ can be a collection of content.  In this case, the content is about a particular country,” Vinton said.

“The project has been done annually for a number of years, but it has evolved over time.  Once upon a time this project culminated in writing a country research paper,” Vinton said.